Beginners Advice

FishingTom

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Hi guys,

Recently had a strong urge to take up photography as a new hobby. Mainly for landscape shots and some portraits. What equipment would you recommend for a complete novice (decent camera, lenses ect.)? And any additional tips will be greatly appreciated.

Cheers

Tom
 

Jockiescott

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Do a bit of research on what you'll think you need then buy the best you can afford.

There are some very good used and reconditioned camera bodies and lenses available for a lot less than RRP.

No matter what you buy, take time and learn how to use it. when I bought my Nikon D5000 about 6 years ago, I bought the book 'Nikon D5000 for Dummies'. Couldn't ask for a better starting point with the camera well explained and when to use whatever features etc.

Then get out and take photos. :)
 

Skiptonian

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I would go for a basic SLR with full manual controls camera if you want to learn about Photography.

You can go secondhand but to be honest, even the cheapest from the main manufacturers (Canon, Nikon etc) perhaps bought in a kit with a lens or two are perfectly good cameras.

There is lots online about Photography, stacks of books and depending where you live your local college might run adult classes in the evening in Photography.

Just be aware, the picture comes from you not the camera and the lens is more important than the camera body.

A great hobby, enjoy.
 

MCXFisher

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Until recently our village postmaster and shopkeeper was a Fellow of the Royal Photographic Society. Some years ago, when my wife was looking for a serious camera to give me for a major birthday, she sought his advice, which I reproduce below.

"The best camera in the world is the one that you have with you. Portability has a virtue all of its own."

As a result my wife gave me a Canon G11, which is a super-compact with most of the features of a good SLR and a great lens. It's no longer made but there are several equivalents in the market. It has provided a wonderful introduction to serious photography in a (large) pocket sized package.
 

bros

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Agree with MCX, a good compact is a great way into photography.
Shove it in your pocket and take it everywhere you go, always be ready for that photo of a lifetime.
Progress onto SLR at a later date if you feel the need.
Canon, Nikon take a bit of beating IMO.

Good luck
 

Skiptonian

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Compacts are great for taking photographs but to LEARN about photography, I would go for a beginners SLR with full manual controls.

Up to you of course.
 
N

newfly

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One advantage of using an SLR is that you can add filters such as circular polarising which can greatly enhance the picture and a neutral density filter to give you creative effects when photographing running water etc.
 

MCXFisher

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Compacts are great for taking photographs but to LEARN about photography, I would go for a beginners SLR with full manual controls.

Up to you of course.

Yes, but the high end compacts have full manual control, in built ND filters etc and manual focus, just like entry plus SLRs.
 

Skiptonian

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They do indeed.

Someone who wants to learn about photography will, (as soon as they get beyond the snapping phase) probably seek more creative options than a compact can offer and if wanting to see larger sized photographs will want a bigger sensor than that provided by the cheaper compacts.

Despite owing two high end SLR's (and a very small compact) one of my very favourite cameras is my black Fujifilm X100s. Its a very traditional looking compact but with the latest technology inside. It also has an APS-C sensor which means it takes superb photo's if used correctly.

Unfortunately, it cost over £1k and for that kind of money an SLR with a small range of reasonable quality interchangeable lenses, offers more possibilities.

It's always an SLR I pick up when going out specifically to take photographs for photography's sake (if that makes sense)
 

fishfan

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If you think fishing can be expensive, then wait till you start buying lenses, filters, bags, tripods, image software etc. Always something to spend your money on. I know a professional photographer whos images are outstanding. As hard as I try to produce something as close to the standard as they do I find it impossible. I keep trying though!
I find it frustrating, but also challenging. Every now and then I get it right and the satisfaction of looking at a photo and thinking 'thats not bad' makes it worthwhile. An example being I took over 120 pictures yesterday, just 1 made the grade and even then only just.
Enjoy:)
 

Skiptonian

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Remember its the photographer that takes the photo not the camera and you don't need to spend a lot (but like fishing tackle it's nice if you can)

A long time ago whilst at college, I remember a challenge between two members of the Photographic group. One had an expensive Nikon SLR film camera and the other a cheap 120 film camera with very little (if any) controls.

Because the chap with the cheap camera (who also had middle of the range stuff when he wasn't trying to make a point) knew it's limitations and did not push those limits, he produced just as good (if not better)photographs as the other chap on a 2 hour photo expedition around Keighley town centre.

One Photo in particular everyone said was outstanding of the (then) new slipway into the multi-storey car park taken from an unusual angle. Everybody who saw it agreed it was the best photo of the day. The Photographer with the cheapo camera was me.

This isn't to brag in any way (not my style) but to show that when you understand your camera kit you can produce better photo's than the chap with the expensive kit who doesn't really know how to use it.

Bit like Salmon fishing then?
 

heather point

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Remember its the photographer that takes the photo not the camera and you don't need to spend a lot (but like fishing tackle it's nice if you can)

A long time ago whilst at college, I remember a challenge between two members of the Photographic group. One had an expensive Nikon SLR film camera and the other a cheap 120 film camera with very little (if any) controls.

Because the chap with the cheap camera (who also had middle of the range stuff when he wasn't trying to make a point) knew it's limitations and did not push those limits, he produced just as good (if not better)photographs as the other chap on a 2 hour photo expedition around Keighley town centre.

One Photo in particular everyone said was outstanding of the (then) new slipway into the multi-storey car park taken from an unusual angle. Everybody who saw it agreed it was the best photo of the day. The Photographer with the cheapo camera was me.

This isn't to brag in any way (not my style) but to show that when you understand your camera kit you can produce better photo's than the chap with the expensive kit who doesn't really know how to use it.

Bit like Salmon fishing then?

All very true but you must remember that you had a big advantage when it comes to printing as the SLR is printing from a negative size of about 1"x 1 3/8" and the 120 roll film camera is printing from a negative size
2 1/4" square. That is why Hassleblads and Bronicas used 120 roll film.
Before the days of digital, magazines like Trout and Salmon and others would not consider 35mm pics for the front cover, it had to be from 120 roll film.
Now with digital it is a more level playing field.
The only advice I would add is not to get over excited about megapixels, it is the lens that matters. That is where the compacts will fall down due to the small lens.
 

Skiptonian

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All very true but you must remember that you had a big advantage when it comes to printing as the SLR is printing from a negative size of about 1"x 1 3/8" and the 120 roll film camera is printing from a negative size
2 1/4" square. That is why Hassleblads and Bronicas used 120 roll film.
Before the days of digital, magazines like Trout and Salmon and others would not consider 35mm pics for the front cover, it had to be from 120 roll film.
Now with digital it is a more level playing field.
The only advice I would add is not to get over excited about megapixels, it is the lens that matters. That is where the compacts will fall down due to the small lens.

That's why I grabbed the club 120 rather than the 35mm SLR.

Despite what some compromised chaps say, size DOES matter:)
 

Piscators

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I agree with MCX.
I was given a compact Sony HX9. I take it with me constantly, and use it. It is old kit now, but has a 16x zoom, and is easy to use.

Before digital I had an SLR, but hardly took it with me unless I knew I was going to take photos, because of size and weight issues.

I understand totally the comments about learning photography using an SLR, but am now convinced that with a good quality compact, most people will
be more than happy with their results.

As has been pointed out, if you enjoy this new hobby, move up to bigger
and better kit-just like salmon fishing.

Nick.
 

Rrrr

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Sorry no advice just commenting to keep an eye on the thread as the wife wants to take up photography so seeing whats reccomended for when i buy her a setup.

Sent from my SM-G930F using Tapatalk
 

glenelg100

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Which compact cameras would be classed as one of the better ones, ie, having as many of the features as a SLR.
 

Rolpex

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I can recommend this magazine if you are interested in landscape photography. Totally free of charge but only available on digitally on iOS as far as I am aware:

Light & Landscape Photography Magazine

The content is contributed by both established photographers and mag readers, so it is quite an insightful mix. Really inspirational, and as I say, free!
 
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glenelg100

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I been reading online etc, I think a bridge camera is what would suit me best as I'm sure I will be no more than a casual photographer, any suggestions more than welcome.
Thanks Ian
 

Chicharito

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I been reading online etc, I think a bridge camera is what would suit me best as I'm sure I will be no more than a casual photographer, any suggestions more than welcome.
Thanks Ian

I have a Nikon coolpix L840 and I have been really pleased with it. Easy to use and easy to upload pictures. You can also mess around with settings if you want but mostly I use it on auto.
I think this has been discontinued but I think the B500 is similar. There seems to be the option to use Bluetooth or WiFi to upload photos to devices.

Here's a couple of photos that I am quite please with -
 

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salmoflyfishing

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Bridge Cameras

It used to be with SLR cameras which were all manual that you had to know your stuff (settings wise) in order to capture a great photo. With the advancement of Digital SLRs (DSLR) there is now more scope for the inbuilt processors to optimise the photos you take while still being in control of all the settings.

If you want to jump straight in with decent camera for point-and-shoot purposes, I would go for a 'bridge camera'. These are increasingly becoming more popular due to the auto-advance settings that helps the beginner. These are between a DSLR and a compact digital camera. These are really user friendly and I currently use a sony dsc hx300 20.4 MP and it produces excellent photos by point-and-shoot methods.

Hope this gives you something to think about! :)


DSC08161_00.jpgDSC07902_00.jpg
 
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